Chapter Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic FAQ

Published on March 16, 2020 in News

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – The safety of our members and their families and friends is of the utmost importance during this extraordinary time.  In light of the recent developments and continued impact surrounding Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity Board of Directors made the unprecedented decision as of Monday, March 16, 2020, that all associate members of Sigma Tau Gamma are now official collegiate members of the organization. This decision came after continuous discussions with our campus partners and monitoring recommendations from government officials regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a responsibility to do right by our members and to unite together as a brotherhood during this unique time,” 40th National President Jim Johnston, Carnegie Mellon said.  “One of the many benefits of a fraternal family is that we are here for each other during both the good and challenging times. We are all in this together.”

Due to this unprecedented situation, Headquarters Staff would like to share important information concerning chapter operations with the FAQs listed below. 

Q: How does the Board of Director’s decision affect the Ritual of Initiation?
A: This decision was made due to an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our undergraduate members. With many campuses altering normal operations and moving to online or distance learning, the Ritual of Initiation is suspended until it is safe to for each chapter to convene. As of Sunday, March 15, 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled for the next eight weeks. Based on this recommendation, chapters should cancel all scheduled Rituals of Initiation for this semester.

Q: When will the spring initiation reports be due to Headquarters?
A: The deadline for initiation reports will be due two weeks prior to the chapter’s rescheduled initiation ceremony. This ceremony may be delayed until the fall semester but must take place prior to September 30, 2020. During this time, the management of the chapter roster will be vitally important to ensuring accuracy. We understand campus operations, including finals and graduation ceremonies, may be altered, so please have all disassociates and brothers expected to graduate reflected on your chapter roster in OmegaFi Vault. The deadline for roster updates remains April 15, 2020.  

Q: How do we proceed with our new member education process this semester?
A:
Digital copies of the Path of Principles can be distributed to your executive cabinet and new members via email. If your chapter decides to postpone new member education to the summer or fall semester, begin to prepare how to incorporate that into your plan now.

Q: Will the Centennial Celebration at Grand Conclave Kansas City still happen?
A: Long-term planning continues for the experience of a lifetime – the Centennial Celebration at Grand Conclave Kansas City. As of March 16, this celebration will take place June 25 – 28, 2020, in Kansas City, MO. The deadline for registration has been delayed to May 22, 2020, and the early bird registration prices will be in effect until further notice.

Q: Are the chapters currently on debt action plans still responsible for fulfilling those obligations?
A: If your chapter is on a debt action plan, yes, your chapter is still obligated to fulfill the terms outlined in the agreement. Specific questions should be directed to your Headquarters Staff Liaison.

Q: Are members still expected to pay dues?
A:
Members are still required to pay their national dues and fees. The national dues and fees structure was approved by the 48th House of Delegates at Grand Conclave Phoenix in 2018. National dues and fees support the day to day operations of the Fraternity, servicing chapters with coaching and instruction and continued program development. However, the collection or modification of local dues is at the discretion of each chapter.

Q: Is Headquarters open for business during this time?
A:
Yes, Headquarters Staff will continue to work normal operating hours to support our brotherhood. 

Q: Are there any new deadlines for the McCune Annual Report, Grand Conclave Internship application, or individual award nominations?
A:
The deadline for the McCune Annual Report will remain April 15, 2020, Grand Conclave Internship applications will remain March 20, and the deadline to nominate brothers and friends of Sig Tau for individual awards will remain March 31, 2020. for the McCune Annual Report, please reflect your answers to what you have completed to this point of the semester.

Q: We have larger events (formals and philanthropic efforts) scheduled this semester, how do we proceed with those?
A:
As of Sunday, March 15, 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled for the next eight weeks. Based on this recommendation, chapters should cancel any events, including formals, white rose banquets, and any large philanthropy events for the remainder of the spring semester. If you still want to host philanthropic efforts to support Special Olympics, CrowdChange will be sending out communication in the coming days with instructions and best practices for digital philanthropy efforts.

Q: We have a situation unique to our campus/chapter; how do we proceed?
A:
We are asking those chapter officers who know of a unique campus situation, to please contact your Headquarters Staff Liaison.

Webinar’s to Attend

April 1, 2020, at 7:00 PM EDT – Connecting through closures and chaos: How Fraternities and sororities can bring us back to normal. Presented by Pennington & Co.

Staying in Touch and Navigating Remote Community Operationspresented by the NIC

A webinar hosted by partner Pennington & Company, this focuses on how campus closures have sent many of us home and ultimately, fraternities and sororities will bring us back. It is more important than ever to look at new solutions for stronger bonds. This webinar will discuss:

  • The new but temporary reality imposed on the Greek Life community
  • The incredible resilience and power of the fraternal community to members and universities
  • How to maintain and enhance brother/sisterhood
  • Resources and next steps to stay organized and operational

What chapter officers can do now to be successful?

Director of Finance & Operations

  • Roster Updates – April 15, 2020
  • Member Roster Should Reflect Any Individual in the Chapter Fall 2020
  • Initiation Report Deadline – No Later Than September 30, 2020
    • Submit two weeks before Initiation Date
  • Dues and Fees Deadline – May 31, 2020
  • Debt Action Plans
  • Director of Finance Roundtable Call
    • April 29, 2020, at 6 PM EDT

Director of Recruitment

  • Phired Up Resources
    • Friday, March 20, 2020
    • Friday, March 27, 2020
  • Start looking at summer & fall recruitment plans
  • Schedule time for Staff Liaison to review future recruitment plans
  • Initiation Report Deadline – No Later Than September 30, 2020
    • Submit two weeks before Initiation Date
  • Director of Recruitment Roundtable Call
    • April 13, 2020, at 6 PM EDT

Director of Member & Community Engagement

  • Philanthropy Events – CrowdChange
  • Be on the lookout for resources from CrowdChange of how you can move your philanthropic events online.
  • Utilize digital tools such as social media and gaming platforms for brotherhood building

Director of Education & Wellness

  • Take care of yourself and your chapter brothers
  • Digital copies of the Path of Principles can be supplied
  • If you decide to postpone new member education, please begin to make a plan of how to incorporate that into summer and fall plans

Chapter President

  • ASAP:
    • Set your meeting dates, Select your digital tool to use
  • March 20
    • Centennial Intern Applications Due (Share with Chapter)
  • March 31
    • Submit Individual Awards and Scholarship Applications (Share with the Chapter)
  • April 15
    • Update Member Roster
    • Submit McCune Annual Report via SmarterSelect
  • May 22
    • Register Your Chapter Members for Centennial
  • Ongoing
    • Planning for the Centennial Celebration 
    • Communicate May 31 Dues and Fees Deadline with Chapter Members
    • Start planning your fall semester

Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation FAQs

Q: Will I still be notified if I received a Centennial Sponsorship?
A:
Yes, all of those chapters/individuals who completed the Centennial Sponsorship application will be notified by the end of March.

Q: When are scholarship applications due?
A:
Scholarship applications are due by March 31, 2020.

WPN National Housing Company FAQs

Q: Will our house be open?
A:
The majority of WPN properties will remain open for those brothers under a housing contract. This will be in cooperation with our campus partners and will be on a facility by facility basis. We know each campus and property is unique, and WPN Staff will consider all aspects of the undergraduate housing experience and work with each property on a case by case basis.

Q: Who will decide if my property is closed?
A:
WPN will coordinate with campus partners and the house manager if a WPN property is closed.

Q: Is the chapter still responsible for parlor and house fund fees?
A:
Chapters are still responsible for the parlor and house fund fees. These expenses are still expected and go towards property management and the overall upkeep of the facility.

Q: Are meals served during this time (if on a meal plan)?
A:
Meal service will continue if the property remains open and has meal services provided.

Q: Can maintenance at our house/work orders still be conducted?
A:
Members are still encouraged to submit work orders on Buildium, and WPN Staff will coordinate with vendors for each property.

Q: Can we receive assistance for ordering bulk sanitizing supplies?
A:
Please submit an order through Buildium for ordering supplies for the facility. If WPN Staff runs into any issues with product availability, we will ask the house manager to purchase supplies locally if necessary.

Q: Can we have events at the house?
A:
As of Sunday, March 15, 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled for the next eight weeks. Based on this recommendation, we urge chapters to cancel events, including those taking place at the chapter facility for the duration of the spring semester. Only those who have contracts with WPN and those who have a meal plan should be at the chapter facility.

Updated March 30, 2020

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ABOUT SIGMA TAU GAMMA FRATERNITY
Founded at the University of Central Missouri on June 28, 1920, the organization will commemorate its 100th Anniversary in 2020. With a presence on 85 campuses in 31 states, our membership includes more than 3,000 undergraduate men and 63,000 living alumni. The Headquarters, which is home to the Fraternity, Foundation, and WPN Housing Company, is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, 12 miles from the center of downtown. Visit http://sigtau.org for additional information.